Print 48 comment(s) - last by inighthawki.. on Apr 9 at 10:20 PM

  (Source: iStock Photo)
Update is mostly geared at offering a better experience for mouse & keyboard users and Desktop denizens

After its April 2, 2014 announcement at the BUILD 2014 conference, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) today has made the Windows 8.1 Update 1 available to the masses via Windows Update.

The latest patch to Windows is largely geared at improving the experience for mouse and keyboard users, and also to add new amenities for those who spend most of their time in Desktop Mode.

Here's what's new:
  • Desktop Mode
    • Taskbar -- Windows Store Modern UI apps
      • Now all running Modern UI apps appear in task bar

        Windows 8.1 Update 1
      • Can be run in Desktop Mode
      • Close, minimize buttons for Modern UI apps in both modes for mouse  and keyboard use

        click to close
      • Are pinnable to the Desktop taskbar
      • Show previews when hovered over on the taskbar
      • Can have miniature controls on hover over (e.g. pause music, etc.)
  • Modern UI Mode
    • "PC Settings" Live Tile (no more need to swipe)
    • power + search buttons (top right hand corner

      power and search buttons
    • New Modern UI mouse actions
      • Right click -- gives tile properties

        Windows 8.1 click to install
      • Ctrl + drag to select...
        • Then Right Click on selection -- bulk tile change
        • Then Left Click on selection and drag -- drag tiles in bulk around the Modern UI menu
    • Bing Smart Search now offers Windows Store app suggestions
    • App install reminders
      • In "All Apps" listing newly installed apps are now highlighted so you can remember what's new and pin them faster.
      • Reminder clickable message in bottom left hand corner of Modern UI menu

        reminder message
The update should be appearing shortly on your Windows 8 machines via Windows Update, if it hasn't already (the official live launch time was 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST).

Here's a video going over all the updates in graphical form.

The next major update to Windows -- potentially titled Windows 8.1 Update 2, Windows 8.2, or Windows 9 -- will feature a new Metrofied start menu, allowing Desktop traditionalists to stay in their "safe place".

Microsoft's Windows VP Joey Belfiore confirms that contrary to its expectations, Microsoft's remote analytics reveal that with the recent changes (Boot to Desktop, etc.) many users are spending most of their time in Desktop Mode, particularly on non-touch devices.

Microsoft also recently announced Windows Phone 8.1, and its decision to offer both Windows Phone and Windows (RT/8.1) for tablets for free.

Source: Microsoft [press release]

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Modern ui, less and less relevant
By marlenejo on 4/8/2014 7:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
It is really pathetic. After the arrogant Windows 8 release which end up in a disaster, they are trying to backpedal and save face with more frequent updates trying to integrate more and more the modern apps into the desktop. The next update will bring back the regular start (start8) menu and the modern apps in windows (Stardock Modern Mix) features. More and more, those apps will become irrelevant as modern ui too. The truth is that you can completely ignore them since they add absolutely nothing to a PC. In the end, we will end up in a good refresh of an excellent OS, the windows 7 desktop.

RE: Modern ui, less and less relevant
By SpartanJet on 4/8/2014 7:57:11 PM , Rating: 1
I uses Modern Apps more and more, and my Windows app library is growing at a much faster rate than my desktop apps at this point on my personal PC. I actually prefer all the Win8.1 controls and UI compared to windows 7.

RE: Modern ui, less and less relevant
By marlenejo on 4/9/2014 9:32:25 AM , Rating: 2
well, you do realize that modern apps are no more then strip down, minimalist, bare bone desktop applications or snippets of websites in full screen mode only. How useful is that ?

RE: Modern ui, less and less relevant
By Spuke on 4/9/2014 10:24:51 AM , Rating: 2
It's useful to him so that's all that matters. Or are you one of those do it my way assholes?

RE: Modern ui, less and less relevant
By marlenejo on 4/9/2014 7:01:05 PM , Rating: 1
sorry but was I talking to you ? No.

By inighthawki on 4/9/2014 10:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
Is that relevant? Are others no longer allowed to defend a person's right to an opinion these days?

RE: Modern ui, less and less relevant
By Mint on 4/9/2014 8:25:15 AM , Rating: 1
Honestly, I don't think this is backpedaling. I think Microsoft planned it from the start.

Only by making devs think this was being forced on the hundreds of millions of desktop/notebook consumers would they bother with Win8 apps. Now that all the major companies have Win8 versions of their apps, they're happy to let everything just be an option again.

By TakinYourPoints on 4/9/2014 4:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think they were that intelligently nefarious. They tried something radically different and it failed. At least they're correcting their course.

I finally installed 8.1 on my desktop a couple weeks ago and it isn't as terrible as it used to be. Win8 is slowly but surely getting there. Not having a Start Menu is still a downside, but I launch so much from Steam anyway that it hasn't had as big an effect as I was thinking.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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